WHEN pensioner Walter Morris was told his beloved grandaughter was getting married in Germany, he resigned himself to missing out on the big day.
But his son Bryan, and staff at the care home where he lives had other ideas.
Together they hatched a plan to make sure eighty-eight year-old Walter was there in spirit, if not body, as Jennie became Frau Skupch.
Walter, who lives at Belong Wigan, in Platt Bridge, knew he wouldn’t be able to travel to Germany but staff were determined he wouldn’t miss out.
Using the latest technology, Bryan arranged for Jennie to speak to her grandad via her iPad and was surprised to see him having a wedding party of his own.
Using FaceTime from the wedding in Germany to initiate a video call, Jennie found her grandfather celebrating in style, sharing champagne, buttonholes and a wedding cake with residents and staff at the home.
Jennie developed an interest in Germany when she visited the country during a student exchange programme. Now working for a business in Cologne, she still comes to visit her grandfather at Belong Wigan whenever she gets the opportunity, but never imagined that she would see him on her wedding day.
Walter was born in Greengate, Salford, in 1926, and worked as a bus driver as a young man.
He married in 1953, and his first child Bryan, was born in 1954, after which Walter moved to Westhoughton and began work in the transport department of the Manchester Evening News, until he retired in 1988.
Bryan said of the wedding day: “My father was so happy that he could join us for such a special occasion. It took some work to co-ordinate, but the staff at Belong Wigan were incredibly helpful. They were enjoying Buck’s Fizz while we were struggling to get reception at a small village in Germany.
“A number of years ago my business, BCM, helped to develop energy efficiency strategies for Belong Wigan, before it was under construction.
“The Belong village impressed me so much that my father now calls it home, but I never expected them to be involved in family weddings!”